Attila [poem by Henry Kendall]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Kendall was published in Leaves from Australian Forests (1869).]



What though his feet were shod with sharp fierce flame,
And Death and Ruin were his daily squires,
The Scythian, helped by Heaven’s thunders, came:
The time was ripe for God’s avenging fires.
Lo, loose lewd trulls, and lean luxurious liars
Had brought the fair fine face of Rome to shame
And made her one with sins beyond a name —
That queenly daughter of imperial sires!
The blood of elders like the blood of sheep
Was dashed across the circus! Once, while din,
And dust and lightnings, and a draggled heap
Of beast-slain men made lords with laughter leap,
Night fell, with rain. The Earth, so sick of sin,
Had turned her face into the dark to weep.

Henry Kendall, Leaves from Australian Forests, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1869, page 106

[Editor: Changed: “Scythian helped by Heaven’s thunders” to “Scythian, helped by Heaven’s thunders,” (added commas); “The Earth so sick of sin” to “The Earth, so sick of sin,” (added commas).]

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